Penned by poet extraordinaire #FaizAhmedFaiz, this #nazm has been immortalised in the voice of Madame #NoorJehan. When #Faiz was asked to recite it at mehfils and mushairas, he would refuse to do so and say that he had given this nazm over to Noor Jehan, and she is the only person who can recite it now. The words to #MujhsePehliSiMohabbat are nothing less that revolutionary; this nazm is a poetic, metaphoric, as well as etymological revolution in its own right. #UrduPoetry in all its forms has often focussed on the bluesy moods of the poet who is separated from the lover, only to rejoice in the act of union. Faiz demands the metaphoric “mehboob” (lover) of Urdu poetry to not ask for the kind of “mohabbat” (love) usually found in the genre. He instead reminds the lover and the listener that there are many other sorrows in the world more pressing than the one rooted in love. In doing so, Faiz calls for #poetry, and #poets, to focus on other, far larger evils that have plagued society for innumerable years (an-ginat sadiyon). A life-time Communist who had been imprisoned on various occasions, Faiz, mirroring the theorist Horkheimer’s ideas, wants poetry to not distract the subject from the darkness and inequality that have diseased society. Even though the beloved’s beauty remains ever-charming, but the realities of Capitalist and Feudal inequalities leave Faiz the romantic-revolutionary incapable of seeking respite in the lover’s company (vasl ki raahat).
Tabla by #Somnath Ghosh. Music arranged, engineered & mixed by #SaarangNarayan